Collaboration seems essential to anyone who could be called a producer. Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus), though, has become something more than a “producer” — an auteur with a unique blend of styles that stands on its own as a unique musical pillar. That said, he seems to get a genuine kick out of collaborating, and he plays extremely well with others. He’s produced, featured, collaborated, and generally worked with a myriad of artists in equally myriad genres and always seems hungry for more. “I should have been on it. It was kind of weird that I wasn’t,” Ellison recently told Newsweek of Kanye West’s Yeezus, as if the man behind FlyLo needed more to do.
Ellison’s insane productivity has even seen him head multiple projects — it was recently revealed that his rap alter ego Captain Murphy would receive his own solo album, which inevitably will add another dozen or so collaborators to Ellison’s expansive list. (For the purposes of this list, though, we’ll only be looking at projects under the Flying Lotus heading.)
In compiling this list, we picked out the considerable cream of the vast crop, performers ranging from teenage rappers to aging jazz vets, performers who bring something new to Ellison’s world and those whom Ellison brings something new out of. From one-off single productions to guest spots on FlyLo’s new You’re Dead!, we selected the musical maverick’s very best collaborations.